"Energy Efficiency Tips For Your Home"

Most of the energy consumed in homes is for heat. In general, your heating system is mostly likely the simplest appliance to operate and is also the most costly one to operate. In some parts of the country home heating cost could account for about 70 percent of the total amount of energy used in the home.
Homeowners should know how we buy energy. Energy is measured in different ways. Electricity is sold in units of "kilowatt hours (kWh)", furnace oil is sold in gallons and natural gas in normally sold in units of cubic feet or "therms" (a measure of actual energy in the gas). Most home appliances are rated in watts. A kilowatt-hour is 1,000-watt hours and this is applied to your home appliances during use. For example, a 75-watt light bulb that was lit for 1 hour used 75 watts x 1 hour = 75 wh or .075 kWh (75 wh divided by 1,000), if this bulb is lit for 18 hours, the bulb uses 1350 wh or 1.35 kWh. By looking at this example on kilowatt-hours you could easily see that some small appliances have a true impact on your utility bill.
When walking around the appliance store we may see the "BTU "abbreviation on many air conditioners and heating units. BTU stands for "British Thermal Unit" and is the amount of energy required to heat one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit (1 F.). When looking at natural gas usage, the standard abbreviation for 100 cubic feet of gas is " Ccf ". One Ccf equals 100 cubic feet of gas, which equals 1 therm (which produces about 100,000 BTUs). In cases where electricity is converted to heat, each kilowatt-hour produces about 3,413 BTUs of heat.
Generally speaking, the greater the square footage of your home, the more BTUs required for heating purposes. Although drafty windows and doors account for some heat loss in your home, the conduction process of energy through a surface also creates heat loss. Conductivity depends on wall thickness and the ability of wall materials to conduct heat. In you home, specifying a resistance to this heat loss reduces this conductivity. R-values are used to specify resistance to heat loss. Generally speaking, the greater the material's R-value, the more restrictive it is to the conductivity of heat. The R-values of windows, doors, walls, floors and ceilings will have a true impact on heat-loss. All building materials are rated at some R-value (such as wood, glass, aluminum, insulation, foam plastic, etc). The higher the R-value of the wall, floor or ceiling surface, the more restrictive your home is to heat loss. For example, an 8 square foot window with an R-value of 2 will lose more heat than a same size area wall with an R-value of 19 (given the identical inside and outside temperatures and wind speed). You may save energy cost and reduce heat-loss by selecting home insulating materials, windows and doors that have the highest R-value ratings.
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